Media + BSO

December 09, 2015

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‘Tis the season for some holiday cheer and if you need a dose of spirit just take a stroll down Mass Ave. and head to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Holiday Pops are one of the BSO’s most anticipated and popular performances. The hall is transformed and the seats are removed so that concert-goers can sit café-style and enjoy holiday tunes. There is a lot of backstage work that goes into making the BSO one of the most prestigious orchestras in the country. Our friends at the BSO were kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes tour of the inner workings of their busiest season.

It’s all about the acoustics

If we learned one thing during our backstage tour, it is that a symphony will not gain recognition without the right acoustics. Boston’s Symphony Hall is considered the perfect size when it comes to the perfect sound, and that isn’t exactly a coincidence. The Hall is built like a box inside a box in order to block out the noisy hustle and bustle on Mass Ave., and the space above the theater even blocks out the sound of airplanes leaving Logan airport. The ONLY sound that can be heard through the walls of the Hall are sirens, which is surprising given how loud the city can get. Every aspect of the Hall’s architecture is built to create the best sound possible, from the carpets to the inverted funnel shape of the theater. Even the seats are designed to absorb sound.

Symphony Hall

 

We were lucky enough to get our own private tour of the Hall, and even got to hear what music sounds like in an empty theater. Have you ever wondered what the Hall looks like from backstage? We got to take a quick peek!

BSO 2

We also got to see one of the most important spaces for the BSO musicians—the practice rooms! The musicians practice countless hours a week on top of rehearsals and performances.

practice room

 

 

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has 134 years of stories and history so we thought we would share some of the BSO fun facts that we learned on our tour

I bet you didn’t know…

Andris Nelsons is the youngest conductor the BSO has ever had

Finding a conductor takes many years, because the people with enough experience are bound to other contracts

The BSO is one of the only orchestras with a summer home- Tanglewood

There is a special storage room in the basement of the hall for unique instruments

There is a rumor that the hall is haunted… do you believe it?

The air quality and temperature of the building has to be monitored at all times for the sake of the instruments

The Boston Pops is the only Pops orchestra that writes its own scores—they wrote crowd favorite ‘Sleigh Bells’

Did you know there is a squash tournament that is held in Boston’s Symphony Hall? Yes, they take out the seats and people play squash.

 

Check out the Holiday Pops this season and tweet your experience @Norbella